Taylor Trench x Rebecca Page
This review is my honest opinion of a pattern I received free of charge to sew as a Brand Ambassador for Rebecca Page patterns.
The Taylor Trench is a classic, Burberry inspired trench coat. It has two length options: a coat length that hits mid thigh and a traditional trench length ending between the knee and mid calf. There are also multiple options for customizing your trench like a detachable hood, patch or welt pockets, front and back yokes, shoulder and sleeve tabs, and a belt or tie. This pattern comes in child and doll sizes as well.
Since I knew this would be a lengthier project and a trench isn't something I'm likely to need multiple of, I decided to go with a classic light khaki trench. The iconic trench is so versatile and I knew I'd get plenty of use out of it across seasons. I used a gorgeous Rag & Bone sateen twill I found at Mood Fabrics during a trip to New York earlier this month. Its seriously beautiful, folks. its a perfect weight and is even a tad water resistant which is always a plus when making a jacket or coat.
To compliment the traditional trench color, I chose to go with classic details like the front and back yokes, welt pockets, shoulder tabs, and sleeve tabs, as well as decorative topstitching on the collar stand. These extras really scream classic trench and I figured if I was going to spend the time making a coat in the first place, I might as well go all out and add the details. The hood is the only thing I didn't make because I'm just not much of a hood person and never wear them.
I have to say, as intimidating as a trench coat might be, Rebecca really did a stellar job making sure the pattern is as clear and helpful as possible. Because the lining pieces are different from the coat pieces, it basically feels like you're cutting two separate coats, and all of the pieces can feel a little overwhelming. But the pattern has multiple pages that spell out exactly which pieces you need out of which materials to help keep you organized as you tackle assembling the trench. There's even a visual of every piece, lining and outer, to help you check that you've cut everything you need. There are also links to helpful videos in the PDF pattern to assist with parts like attaching the sleeve lining to the coat at the sleeve vent. Rebecca has made sure all the tools and tips are there to ensure success which made it easier to focus on sewing it up instead of being overwhelmed by all of the pieces and work ahead of me.
Fit wise I made a few changes:
- I have narrower shoulders so I did take 1.5" out of the shoulder on the body of the coat to bring that seam up to sit nicely at the edge of my shoulder. This is something I have to do on almost every pattern with a set in sleeve.
- I also have short arms so I needed to shorten the sleeves by 2". Looking at in now I probably would've been fine only doing 1.5" because it doesn't quite hit between the wrist and second thumb joint but overall its nice to have a sleeve that doesn't extend past my fingers--in fact I'm so used to sleeves being too long on me in ready-to-wear garments that having a more properly fitted sleeve length feels so strange!
- Having a short torso (well, and generally being short at 5'1") meant I needed to take some length out of the coat as well so that the curve of the garment sat at my actual hip. I took 2.5" of length out of the middle of the coat (split evenly between the top and bottom halves) and, because I was happy with the overall length of my muslin, replaced those 2.5" at the hem. This also meant I had to move the back vent down 2.5" down as well so that it didn't go up my back.
- As far as fit around the body I felt the Taylor Trench sewed up as expected for my measurements. However if I made one again I'd probably trim the hip curve just a little because as it is now the coat curves away at my hip more than I would like and makes it a little poofy at my hip sometimes.
Picking a lining was more challenging than I anticipated (we walked around Mood sooooo much!) but I eventually settled on a lovely peachy pink solid lining. This stuff is shifty business so I do recommend a more stable fabric like rayon or cotton lawn if traditional silk or polyester lining is new territory. After all of the work you've put in to sewing a trench you definitely want your lining and coat to match up when you hand sew (yes, I said hand sew--reason number one why I won't be making another one for a while!) your hems.
I will say this pattern actually surprised me. I didn't expect to like it as much as I do. But the fit feels really good (especially in the upper arm which is always a challenge for me), and I like the way the details like the yokes and tabs came together for a professional looking coat. And instructions can sometimes make or break a project experience so I definitely appreciate the ease with which this trench came together. I can really see myself wearing this when the weather warms up!
My only "complaints" with the pattern that I would want to adjust are first, I wish the overlap of the front coat pieces was greater. Right now its a little narrow and for a more true trench coat look this piece could use a wider overlap and more space between the buttons, vertically (which I already accounted for and used less than the recommended buttons) and horizontally. Second, I'd move the welt pocket position more towards the sides of the trench. As they are they're a bit too far forward which I find less comfortable for resting my hands in, and it means the coat can't be overlapped as much as I would've wanted. The buttons end up a little close to the corner of the welt pocket too which I don't care for. Of course once a welt pocket is sewn there's no changing it so this is where they'll stay, but next time I'd give them a little nudge to the sides.
Well I can now cross "trench coat" off my capsule sewing list! While a lengthy project, sewing the Taylor Trench was pretty smooth and the final result is very satisfying.
Do you have any big projects you want to challenge yourself with in 2018? I wanna hear about them!